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Van Dwelling/Vehicle Repair

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Doing some simple checks on your vehicle can mean the difference between a cheap fix in the city versus an expensive tow on the road.

Van dwelling rocks, especially if you are into camping out. However, if you are going to be traveling long distances you really need to take the time to make sure all the maintenance is all taken care of. Just make sure you change the oil and keep it full if you have a leak. Take extra oil with you and other fluids as well such as transmission fluid, power steering fluid, water, antifreeze, brake fluid... you never know when you might get a leak, and if you are out in the mountains, having some of these fluids might mean the difference between stranded and moving.

Also, if your van is making noises that are brand new or don't sound right get it checked out in a commercial area. There are usually big name companies that will give you a free estimate, get three estimates, and the mechanic you are most comfortable with then get the repair done. You don't want to have something break while you are traveling.

Pay attention to you van, keep it clean and uncluttered this will help you focus and be aware of you van surroundings, you will see leaks, and smell odors that could be a precursor to bigger problems.

If you van leaks from the seals over the doors or on the roof, get a huge tarp at a big box store and some twine. Throw the tarp over your van and over the areas that leak and tie it down to the door handles or trees. This is easy if you are camping where you don't have to be so incognito.

If you can't figure it out yourself, leave it to a pro! Mechanics are all over most of the industrialized world. Make sure to get different quotes from multiple mechanics at your local area if possible.

Get yourself a good set of tools appropriate for you van IE: get a set of name brand tools as cheap ones just strip out or break or just perform badly. Make sure you get metric tools if you have a foreign model. Even if you don't know how to use the tools, at least they will be there to assist any passerby good Samaritans that want to help. *If a stranger does try to help try to figure out if this person actually knows the basics... ask a few questions to see if they tell you the right answer re: other types of repairs. If they don't know those simple answers, don't let them tinker on your vehicle. Better to get a tow and get it to a shop. And make sure you have a cell phone for emergencies. Even if your phone doesn't have a plan, in the United States, carriers have to put 911 calls through.